Group education 'success' in type-2 diabetes

Group education for patients with type-2 diabetes has been shown to be successful at changing attitudes and behaviour towards the condition and improving health, according to study findings from England and Scotland.

The research is the first to back up the recommendation of group-structured education which features in the diabetes NSF.

For the study, 824 adults with newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes were recruited from 207 practices in England and Scotland.

Patients were assigned to receive six-hours of structured education in a group supervised by two trained health professionals or usual care.

The group education programme was DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed), which tries to elicit rather than dictate how to improve behaviours that affect the condition.

Assessment showed that HbA1c levels had decreased more, although not significantly, in the intervention group, by 1.49 per cent in the intervention group, compared with 1.21 per cent in controls.

The intervention group also showed a significant weight loss after 12 months of 2.98 kg, while the control group only lost 1.86 kg. Patients in the intervention group also had a greater improvement in coronary heart disease risk at 12 months and experienced less depression than controls.

BMJ Online

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